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August 4th, 2009

(no subject) @ 10:42 pm

brandokowalski:
I haven't made any secret at all about my extreme admiration for U2. These guys have seen me through some very tough times as well as some very good times and have always put a smile on my face. They've always put adrenaline in my body. They've always given me a spark when it comes to performing. They are brilliant, their live performances are even more brilliant. In 2003 I remember saying to myself, "I really don't have a favorite band. I have plenty of bands that I like a lot, but no one who I really consistently like. There's no band out there who always succeeds, who I have a real strong connection with, who I could listen to on shuffle all day long and never get bored." One year later, I finally discovered U2 and have never looked back since.

U2 have always played a strong role on my car stereo and they have always played a strong role on my iTunes playlist. Hell, they have also played a strong role on my DVD player with their incredible video performances of their tours. But what's perhaps most important to me, that many people probably don't realize, and that I forget myself sometimes, is how much they have inspired me as an actor. What actors do onstage and what bands do onstage are really quite similar. Many bands, such as Modest Mouse, don't realize that a concert is about more than just playing music. It's about putting your heart and soul out there to engage the audience. Since their earliest of days, U2 have gone beyond the call of duty in that regard. A U2 concert is a religious experience. It's a stage performance. And it's a concert in the greatest sense of the word.

Which brings me to their current tour which I am very pleased to say I had the opportunity to attend last week in Dublin. It's called the U2 360 Tour. It's the first tour they've done that has been named after the stage rather than a song or an album. The title describes it pretty matter-of-factly. The stage is presented in 360 degrees so that everyone in the audience gets the full effect of the show. Sadly enough though, I didn't have the opportunity to get the full 360 degree effect, for at Croke Park, the venue they used in Dublin, the stadium was designed in such a way that it would be impossible/impractical to go 360 degrees. So despite the fact that it was their hometown, the concert that should count more than any other, there was no 360 effect for us. I knew this going in, and was dismayed of course, but I didn't let it ruin anything, and the rest of the crowd certainly didn't either. U2 360 had become U2 270, and I'm okay with that.

We saw three, count 'em, three out of the three concerts they did in Dublin. And it was so worth it. When you're dealing with a band who tours as infrequently as U2, I don't care what the circumstance is. When you're as big of a fan as I am, and you are that close to a U2 concert, you go. That's all there is to it. I've been waiting since November of 2005 to see these guys live again. The wait has been agonizing, but completely worth it. The show that they put on was simply a wonder to behold. This is a tour where the band themselves really are front and center. They've been accused at times in the past of letting the pyrotechnics of the stage take over the actual music. I have no problem with that, but I can definitely say that this time around, they are focused on themselves and the show they put on is every bit as good as they have ever been.

On day one, Steven and I arrived at 9:30 am to wait in our GA Standing Line. We waited, and waited and waited some more. The line already snaked around the residential buildings about a block away before ending up in the queue with four or five zig-zags set up right before the entrance. We waited in the same spot until about noon when they started letting people into the next zone. Everyone around us had their U2 shirts, their U2 books, their U2 magazines and of course their Irish accents. It was delightful. What was also striking was how many people were there from America. I'd say at least 15-20% of the people I talked to were there from the states, with a few other countries like Greece and Australia thrown in as well. Our second waiting area was conveniently placed right in front of the merchandise stand. And we were there for a looooong time. One of those waiting areas that literally feels endless. And we were right behind a gate about waist height that was sealed. Needless to say, people got restless and were able to break through their gates to walk around even though you technically weren't supposed to. We were there for four hours before they finally let us in, but the good part about this was that we knew we would have the best view of the band available.

I had nosebleed seats during my two shows of the Vertigo tour back in 2005, and I'll never forget staring longingly at the thousands of people on the floor in the G.A. Standing area. The best spots of which were right inside the ellipse, right up against the stage. Steven and I both had gotten handstamps on our way in, but had not been told what the handstamp was for. After an hour or two of waiting, a "steward" (Irish name for Security Guard) came around to explain to us what the procedure was going to be and he assured us that if you have a handstamp, you are going to be inside the ellipse. I made him repeat this several times. "If you have a handstamp, you are going to be inside the ellipse." It was really happening. I was finally going to be able to experience this band right up close as I've wanted to for so so long.

After around 2-3 hours of waiting, we started hearing music coming from inside the stadium. We listened carefully and it became increasingly clear that this was a guitar tech who was rehearsing several of U2's songs. I recognized Magnificent, Unknown Caller and Moment of Surrender. But then just a few minutes later, a full electric band started to play. It sounded pretty authentic. It sounded pretty real. And it sounded like "Until the End of the World." When the lead singer came on, it became true. This was the real U2 doing a soundcheck inside the stadium. Everyone waiting in line outside roared with applause. This continued as they rehearsed "Elevation" "Beautiful Day" and snippets of "Mysterious Ways" and "New Year's Day." It was torture, because I knew I still had several more hours to wait for the actual concert, but it was good enough to satisfy my current hunger.

At 4:15 pm we were finally let in. All of the stewards shouted at us in their Irish accents, "Take your time, no need to run, please walk." I was civilized. I walked. I walked fast but I walked. It was a long walk. It seemed like we were snaking through a thousand corridors, but finally we made it out there and the view of the "Claw" (the nickname for this stage) was just incredible. That thing is absolutely enormous and it was a wonder to behold. We found our spot and staked it out. We were no more than ten feet away from the barrier to the stage. We were slightly stage right with just four or five people in front of us. I could not believe this was real. I could not believe that U2 were soon going to be there and that I was actually going to be this close. It was like some kind of dream.

This of course led to more waiting. At 6:00 Damien Dempsey came out and played his set which wasn't bad. It was good traditional Irish music which was certainly fun to hear. The crowd was definitely into it and a guy standing next to me seemed to know all of the words. Then at around 7:30 a band called Glasvegas came out. I kinda liked them as well. Sure, all of their songs kinda sounded the same, but at least it was a good song. Most bands with songs that all sound the same are crap so it's the same crap song over and over again. This was at least a good one over and over again.

The opening acts finally ended and we headed into the homestretch. The crew came all around the stage to set up for U2. This included The Edge's guitar tech who came out and tested something like ten U2 songs for us all to applaud. We heard him play 5-10 second snippets of, if memory serves, "Beautiful Day," "Pride," "Bad(!)," "Magnificent," "Get On Your Boots," and "Where the Streets Have No Name." Our appetites were uncontrollable at this point. Adam Clayton's tech was on the other side of the stage so we couldn't hear him that well, but it was cool to watch him.

As 8:45 rolled around, the time had finally come. A song came on that everyone seemed to know except for me. I couldn't tell you how it went, but I'm assured that it's in several national commercials right now. Hmm. Cool. It was a terrific song that was very much in keeping with what U2 usually has for introductions. (the Vertigo tour's intro was "Wake Up" by The Arcade Fire). The audience was going nuts. It was happening. It was really happening. And I was in just the right spot in front of the stage to look past the setup and see them entering from the rear of the stadium. Out came Larry Mullen, then Adam Clayton, then The Edge and then you-know-who. Most of the audience couldn't see this area, but I could and it was simply amazing. As the intro song continued, Larry Mullen came onto the stage and sat at his drum kit. And right as the song ended, he banged the familiar beat on his drums for a good thirty seconds as Adam and The Edge came onto the stage. They met in the center and crossed over to their respective sides. They started playing their parts and then the man made his entrance. Walking with the most tremendous posture and strength to the beat of the drums, Bono grabbed the microphone on cue for the blaring guitar chord of "Breathe." The stadium lit up. The giant video screens around the claw came on. The colors on the claws legs lit up and the song came in full force. "Sixteenth of June, 9:05, doorbell rings, man at the door says if I want to stay alive a bit longer, there's a few things that I need you to know....THREE!" The crowd was going crazy. Everyone around me was jumping to the beat of the song. I looked around the stadium and there wasn't a single seat in the house without someone moving. All over, every one of the 80,000 people was into it. And who can blame them. They're in the presence of the greatest living band in the world.

As "Breathe" ended, Bono grabbed his own guitar to play along to "No Line On the Horizon." The Edge was literally right in front of me for the duration of the concert and Bono was about 7 or 8 feet to his right. Larry was about 7 feet behind Bono and Adam was on the other side of the stage. The view was simply amazing. The crowd all seemed to know the words to the song, but thankfully the speaker system was loud enough that they didn't drown out the sound of the band themselves. It was incredible.

This led into the punchy groove of "Get On Your Boots" a song that most fans have a love/hate relationship with. I'm in the same boat. I love it and I hate it, but at least 90% of the songs that U2 have written have been greatly improved when performed live and "Get On Your Boots" most definitely falls into the improvement category. It started out with a recording of Bono screaming "Let Me In the Sound" until launching into a blaring guitar riff from The Edge, with the entire audience bouncing in unison to this song that is just absolutely insane. In the words of Bono, it makes you want to burn your house to the ground. No, it's not as good as "Vertigo" or "Elevation" but it definitely has a catchy tune and again, it sounds great live.

Then came a moment which can only be described as a dream come true. "Magnificent" began to play. It gets better. These two bridges on either side of the stage started to move along the ring. They revolved over the inside crowd and stopped just a few feet to the right of where I was standing, and out came Bono to start the singing for it. Bono was no more than three feet away from me singing the entire first verse of "Magnificent". I was going crazy needless to say. He stayed there for several minutes before walking back out to the edge of the ellipse, and then what should happen next but The Edge came out to play his guitar right in the exact same spot. I never in my life thought I would have a chance to be so close to these guys, but man, there they were. In all of their glory. It was incredible.

This led into a very interesting and haunting introduction to "Beautiful Day" in which a bunch of synthetic sounds played to the tune of Bono speaking a poem into his microphone. It was a very interesting way to start the song, and before we knew it, the familiar opening began and the song went in full force. "Beautiful Day" is arguably the most well-known and well-loved song of theirs today, even after two more albums since, and it is for good reason. There's just something perfect about it. It's conventional yes, but it's also just so uplifting and fun and it involves so many different directions. It's so great, and after nine years of playing it, I'm pleased to say it still sounds amazing.

This led to the part of the concert that was changed up a bit for each night. On the first night, they played "Elevation," "Desire," "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of," "One" and "Until the End of the World." On the second night they played, "Mysterious Ways," "Angel of Harlem," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "In A Little While" and "Unknown Caller. And on the third night, "Angel" and "In A Little While" were replaced by "New Year's Day" and "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)." Needless to say, all of these songs sounded terrific. "Until the End of the World" is one of my very favorite live songs and during the finale of the song, Bono and Edge seemed to be battling each other with their respective instruments in some kind of tiger vs. lion fight on the edge of the ellipse. On the second night, they engaged in a live link up with the International Space Station before "In a Little While" and "Unknown Caller" in which the astronauts had some special messages for the audience such as "What's the craic?" etc. They showed up on the ginormous screens they had towards the top of the claw.

I was disappointed to see that "Unknown Caller" was left off the setlist on the first night, because after heavy personal debate with myself, I've decided that's my favorite song on the new album. So I was very pleased to see it make it's return to the setlist on the second night. Many say it's the worst song they've ever written. I think it's brilliant. It's so peaceful and contemplative at the beginning, and patiently builds so well into these amazing guitar solos from The Edge. Plus the sound of horns in the background, and the birds chirping at the beginning, and those really powerful chants that go through the song, it was amazing. It doesn't sound like most songs U2 writes, or any songs I hear at all for that matter. And in a way that could almost be considered a spiritual connection to the band, I swear it started raining the minute that Edge started his final guitar solo. Watching him play that music with the raindrops in the background on the upper screen was spectacular. One of those things that really can't be planned.

"Elevation" sounded wonderful. They changed the song quite a bit during the Vertigo tour, but it was back to normal here on this tour and it was great. Although I couldn't help but get annoyed by the audience. When they started doing the "Woo-oohs" they would go "Woo-hoo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo." I could only think, "Have you fucking idiots ever heard this song? That's not how it goes!" As any true U2 fan knows, it goes "Woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo." It changes each time. That's how it sounds good. The way the audience did it, did not sound good. Okay, frustration is lifted. Another song that was added to the concert on the first night was a traditional Irish ballad called "The Auld Triangle." Most in the audience seemed to know the words to the song, but of course I can't say that I did. It's always nice to see them throw in something unplanned.

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was remarkable. Bono started the song and the sound of the audience was so powerful, that he just stepped away from the microphone and listened to us sing the words. Eventually he took back over when it became clear the audience didn't have all of the words down but it was a very pleasant. When the song was over, he led the audience into a rousing cover of the first verse of "Stand By Me." It's amazing just how well those two songs go together.

Their performance of "Mysterious Ways" was very welcome to say the least, and to watch Bono bring a girl up onstage who couldn't have been older than 20 was very rockstarrish of him. The girl was from Chile and brought of a flag from her country. They danced for the last portion of the song until it ended when Bono took the mic to her to say, "Whatever you do, please...keep quiet. The wife is very understanding."

It was great to hear them do "Stay." It's always been a favorite of mine, and this acoustic version is the first time I've heard a Zooropa track live. Most in the audience didn't seem to know what it was, but I was singing along right there to it. It was great.

This is the point where the concert became mostly similar every night. It's kind of a shame that U2 doesn't change things up more, especially when they're playing for a crowd that's probably full of people coming on multiple nights. I guess the reason, which is noble I suppose, is that they've carefully put together the best setlist for the best concert and for a band that only tours once every three to four years, you might as well not screw with that. But still, God knows they have plenty of songs to choose from in their repertoire that would produce just as brilliant of a concert as their usual setlist. I don't know. Overtime, the setlist will probably evolve, but for now, they're staying consistent.

Anyway, "Unknown Caller" led into one of the most remarkable tracks of the night. It's a song called "The Unforgettable Fire" which hasn't been played since 1990 until this tour. There were rumors of them rehearsing it for the Vertigo Tour, but it never materialized. For this song, the screens which had been fixed to the top of the claw suddenly turned red and stretched nearly to the floor. The images of the band continued to be displayed on what was now this fifty foot screen with red lights and steam serving as the backdrop. It was a truly spectacular sight for this amazing song that many people have probably forgotten.

Then came a song that many people are probably familiar with. This was the Vertigo Tour tribute in which they went through "City of Blinding Lights" and "Vertigo" just as they opened most concerts in 05-06. This was probably the slowest moment in the concert simply because it's all too familiar for anyone who followed their last tour, but hey, they were both big hit songs and the crowd was definitely into it.

Then came something that not even I was expecting. The screens suddenly showed all four bandmates in blue lighting nodding their heads to this blaring techno beat. The image of four men of nearly fifty years old headbanging was enough to make anyone smile. I had no idea what this was until the lyrics finally started. It was a remix of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight." I for one think that this is the version that should have been put on the album. This invigorating mix was one of the highlights of the concert. Larry was wearing a set of bongo drums around his neck and marching around the ellipse while Bono stayed on the stage doing a call and response with the audience. What a fantastic song! And it really is the version that should have been on the album. Just look at the title. "Crazy Tonight." You'd think that would be the title of a crazy fastpaced song. That's definitely what I pictured when I first heard that title. But instead what ended up on the album was a pretty conventional slowpaced inspirational track, which don't get me wrong, it's a fine song, but it's pretty conventional U2 and probably my least favorite song on the album. The remix basically turned into a rave at the end a la PopMart. So despite the fact that Pop has pretty much been ignored and destroyed by the band over the years, this at least was a worthy replacement.

This led into the oldest song that was played, "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Still sounds just as good as ever. As did "Pride." I won't talk much about those. They've been played so much over the years, there's not a whole lot to say that hasn't been said already. But it was certainly great to hear them live as well.

"MLK" served as a perfect segue into "Walk On" in which they did a tribute and honor of Ang Sang Su-Chi, a woman who has been held under house arrest. I'll be honest, I didn't do much research on this woman, but I know it's a case of the authorities trying to stifle a voice of reason and peace, and obviously that's something Bono has to speak out about. The audience was handed out masks of Su-Chi to put on during "Walk On" which was a very ZOO-TVesque way of paying tribute. Honest, yet also a little over the top and creepy. Very U2. It was great to see "Walk On" back on the setlist after being relatively ignored during Vertigo. It's the best song on All That You Can't Leave Behind and one of the best songs written this past decade. It sounded fantastic.

This tribute then led to a speech on video by the Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has been a star player in Bono's references going back to the Joshua Tree tour, and maybe farther for all I know. This was the intro to the moment everyone always waits for. The peak, the brilliant, the classic, "Where the Streets Have No Name," the best song U2 have ever written. I looked around at the stadium and everyone, near and far, in the standing room as well as the seats all the way in the back, were all on their feet and all dancing and jumping. It was such a spectacular moment. The screens used the traditional red background which was a terrific homage to the legendary Joshua Tree tour. It was absolutely fantastic. I'll never forget taking a good look at Bono the second night. His face was all wet, and when I looked closer it was clear those were tears coming down his face. He was so moved by his own music and who the hell could blame him. That song still gets me every time after all of these years. I'll never forget the very first time I heard it. I inserted the Joshua Tree album into my CD player and just sat there stunned by this incredible song. The energy, the guitar, the voice, the percussion, the words, the feeling behind the words. This is THE U2 song if ever there was one. This is what U2 will be remembered for if nothing else.

My favorite song led into my second favorite song. It's been the illusive song for me. I just barely missed getting to hear it on the Vertigo tour. When I saw the first concert, the song premiered just a week later. When I saw the second concert, the song was played the night before and the night after, but not on my night. It's a song called "Bad." It's happy/sad feel is exactly what U2 is for me. The pain in Bono's wailing voice on the album is one of the most emotional performances I've ever heard on a record. The filmed performance in U2: Rattle and Hum from 1988 is so patient and so passionate. Watching that film was when I really fell in love with this band. And now hearing it live was simply a dream come true. It's amazing that after so many years, Bono is still able to sing that song with all of the energy he had during the first performance. He opened and closed the song with the "How long to sing this song" chorus from "'40'" and the audience continued to sing the lyric going into the close of the main set. "Bad" is a song that should be played at every concert I think. But perhaps the fact that it's only played at say, 25-30% of the concerts makes it that much more special. This was a treat.

Then came the encore. They aren't taking the same type of advantage with the encore set as they have in the past. During the Vertigo tour it was often an entire ZOO TV tribute production. Here though, they have a nice little three song set which works just fine. And what a way to start it off. "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" is seriously one of my very favorites. It hasn't been played since 1993, and I was so happy to see it resurrected for this tour. The encore started out with a synthesized alien computer voice reciting a poem of some kind until Edge returned to the stage to quietly play the opening of the song. Then came the star performer Bono wearing the most spectacularly tacky black suit with red laser beams shooting out of it. Yes, a suit with red laser beams that danced in the fog as he walked. I love this man. And if that wasn't enough, his microphone was a simple mechanic, but ingenious. It hung from the ceiling and was attached to a circular handle that looked something like a steering wheel. So he was able to basically swing and hang on the microphone during the song. He swung himself out into the audience, he swung the microphone out into the audience for when they were to sing a callback, and he hung on it in a drunk lazy position at times. He had so much fun with that thing. It's perfect for him. And what's more, there's something about that microphone that made his voice sound louder and more powerful. His voice reverberated around the stadium during this song in a way that had not been heard before. When he shouted the word "Ultraviolet" I could almost feel it in my bones. This was one of the most spectacular performances of the night.

This led into the classic, "With Or Without You." Again, it's a song that I've heard and talked about so many times, it's hard to really say anything original here except that I was very happy to hear it as always. Then to close out the set, in the tradition of other somber closers like "40" and "Love Is Blindness" came "Moment of Surrender" the ultra-epic 7 1/2 minute sobfest which is probably the 2nd best song on the new album. Bono's voice took on a new personality for this one. It almost reminded me of his bizarre transformation for the song "Dancing Shoes" on the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack. Belting and screeching out the lyrics like Janice Joplin or someone of that ilk. I love this song and it was the perfect way to end a truly fantastic set.

To be so close to the band the first night was more than I could have possibly expected or hoped for. So imagine my shock and thrill when after arriving 4 1/2 hours later on Saturday than I did on Friday, I was given a wristband to say that once again I was going to be in the center ring! I couldn't believe it! I did not expect that at all. I literally went there saying, "Okay, we did it right the first day. We showed up 12 hours before U2 was onstage, we got right next to them, we don't need to push it. We'll show up at 2 tomorrow and I'll be just fine with being outside of the ring." But no, we were back in again, and we actually made it even closer to the stage the second time as the first time. We were in a similar area, but it was a few feet closer to the center, and a few feet closer to the front. It was such a thrill. As for Monday, I really didn't feel like waiting again. And we just skipped the opening acts and showed up at 8. I was just fine with it. Plus, If you want my advice, if you're seeing just one concert, obviously I would say get as close to the band as possible. But if you're seeing two or three, or more, try to back up a little bit and really take in the entire stage. It's so worth it. The claw is absolutely beautiful when you can see the whole thing. Really great efforts were put into this enormous piece of machinery and it becomes such an extraordinary character of its own. A theatre major will absolutely love this stage. The sparks, the way it changes color, the screens, the transformations of the screens. Man. It is a truly gorgeous piece of work. I think I'd place it second only to ZOO TV as my favorite stage they've ever had.

So I guess the illusive song for me for this tour is "Electrical Storm." One of my first real favorites that I discovered on the Best of the 90's album that I was disappointed to see ignored on the Vertigo tour but was thrilled to see it make it's way at some of the early concerts. I believe it was played at three concerts before Dublin, but they just didn't get around to it at any of the three I went to. That's too bad. I would have gladly sacrificed one performance of "The Unforgettable Fire" to make way for "Storm." Oh well, that's something to hope for for the next concert.

You know, I really can't explain what it is that connects me to this band so well. Is it the passion in Bono's voice? Is it the tongue in cheek self-parody a la ZOO TV? Is it the lyrics that I connect to so easily? Is it the adrenaline that pulses through my veins whenever a song is played? Is it the fact that they've been together longer and won more Grammys than any other band? (probably not that one) I don't know, it's just always worked for me. They have never failed. Their songs have guided me through good times, they've scolded me through bad times, they've helped me to move forward, and above all they've helped me to be a better actor.

I've always felt as though there's been some connection between my dreams and U2. The day after the first concert, I received a call from the Casting Office of 6th Street Playhouse saying that they would like me to call them about You Can't Take It With You. But that's all they said. I didn't hear what. On the day of the third concert I was given the final news. I am going to be Ed in You Can't Take It With You. For the first time since May of 2008 (I refuse to count Sleepy Hollow) I am going to be onstage. Is it a coincidence that I should be given this news on the bracket of the three U2 concerts?

So many other things like this have happened as well. I purchased my first U2 album just days before hearing I would be participating in the Amador Theatre Festival in 2004. Throughout freshman year of college, I discovered all of the rest of U2's music and I saw my first concert right around the time of the premiere of Schmendiman. As if once I had U2's music under my belt, that's when I was given my first real acting gig. I saw my second concert right after Ring Round the Moon ended, which I still regard as one of my finest moments onstage. And No Line On the Horizon was what gave me the strength and the will to return home. It just felt right. For as long as I can remember, U2 songs have given me the power for my opening moments onstage. It just happens, I can't avoid it. "Zoo Station" is a song that runs through my head before my first entrance no matter what. It's like a ritual now. When I needed my energy for the money tearing scene of Ring Round the Moon, I thought about Bono's insane energy filled performance of "The Fly" during the Elevation Tour DVD. My range as a singer is immensely improved simply by singing along to U2 in the car while I'm driving. I hit notes today that I could not hit before I discovered this band. I guess whatever works for you. I don't want to downplay myself, I know that a lot of what I do as an actor comes from what I have in me to begin with, but there's no doubt, U2 have been a great inspiration for me. I get greater enjoyment on the stage, and I present myself much better on the stage. And little by little, I continue to make my way up, and I'll continue to hold them close to my side with each step.

Boy I've really gone deeper with this blog than I expected to. I'm well aware that I don't have a single friend who is as far into U2 as I am, so I'd be fairly amazed if anyone actually read this far. It's for me. To keep the memory fresh. But I'm proud of this. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it, and as much as I enjoyed attending these concerts. Well, you probably didn't enjoy reading it that much, but hopefully I at least painted some kind of picture for you of what the experience was like. I'm sure I'll submit this and immediately think of a hundred things I forgot to mention, but I guess the best art is never finished. Like U2 songs. "Bad" certainly wasn't finished yet when it made it to the album, neither was "Get On Your Boots," or "Bullet The Blue Sky," or really any of their songs. These are songs that were meant to be performed live. And perhaps a telling of the concert experience is better than a writing of it. Oh well, at least I tried.

Here, last but not least are the setlists for the three concerts. The repetitiveness of the setlists will become very clear now, but no matter. Here they are:

7/24
Breathe
No Line On the Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Magnificent
Beautiful Day
Elevation
Desire
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of (Bono and Edge acoustic)
The Auld Triangle (Bono and Edge acoustic)
One
Until the End of the World
The Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Dance Remix)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
Pride (In the Name of Love)
MLK
Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet
-Desmond Tutu Speech-
Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
Bad / "40" (snippet) / Fool To Cry (Snippet)
-Encore-
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You
Moment Of Surrender / Drowning Man (snippet)

7/25
Breathe
No Line On The Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Magnificent
Beautiful Day / Here Comes The Sun (snippet)
Mysterious Ways
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (Snippet)
Angel Of Harlem / Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (snippet)
In A Little While
-Space Station Chat-
Unknown Caller
The Unforgettable Fire
City Of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Dance Remix) / O Come All Ye Faithful (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
MLK
Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
-Desmond Tutu Speech
Where The Streets Have No Name
One
-Encore-
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You
Moment Of Surrender

7/27
Breathe
No Line On The Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Magnificent
Beautiful Day / My Hometown (snippet)
New Year's Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Movin' On Up (snippet)
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
Unknown Caller
The Unforgettable Fire
City Of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Dance Remix) / Relax (snippet) / Two Tribes (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
MLK
Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
-Desmond Tutu Speech-
Where The Streets Have No Name
One / Here Me Knocking (coda)
Bad / "40" (snippet) / Fool To Cry (snippet)
-Encore-
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You / Shine Like Stars (coda)
Moment Of Surrender

And just for some flashback humor, here's the setlist from the very first U2 concert I ever saw. Way back when I was Schmendiman, on April 9th, 2005. Some things are similar, some are clearly different:

City Of Blinding Lights
Vertigo / Stories For Boys (snippet) / Hello! Hello! I'm Back Again! (snippet)
Elevation
The Electric Co. / The Cry (Song intro) / Send In The Clowns (snippet) / I Can See For Miles (snippet)
The Ocean
New Year's Day
Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet)
Miracle Drug
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own / No Regrets (coda)
Love and Peace Or Else
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky / The Hands That Built America (snippet) / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
Running To Stand Still
Zoo Station
The Fly
Mysterious Ways
-Encore-
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Where The Streets Have No Name
One
-2nd Encore-
All Because Of You
Yahweh
"40".

So here's my crazy long journal entry about the three Dublin shows that I was fortunate enough to see.  Needless to say, it was a truly incredible experience, and I just thought I'd share what it was like with you all.  There are spoilers obviously, so be forewarned.  And yes, I know it's ridiculously long, so I'm not offended if people don't get through it all.  Enjoy!
 
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Comments

 
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From:deepbluemermaid
Date:August 5th, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
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I just read this whole thing through - wow! I'm in New Zealand, so I may not be able to see the 360 tour (they don't tour here very often). I haven't read a lot of reviews of the latest shows, but I really enjoyed your write-up. Thanks for sharing it with us :)
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From:corianderstem
Date:August 5th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
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Great write-up. Thanks for sharing that! I cannot WAIT to see them this fall.
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From:murflegirl
Date:August 6th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
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Thank you so much for sharing every moment with us. You gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. I cannot wait to experience them again.

U2 LiveJournal

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